The rigors of owning a small business aren’t unlike the rigors of being an elite athlete. You’ve got to power through some pretty tough situations and find a way to keep going. Ultramarathon runner Robin Arzon, author of Shut Up and Run, says that training for those 5K, 50-mile and 100-mile runs gets you only about 20 percent of the way there. The rest is being able to build your mental toughness.
When she is struggling in a race, she relies on visualizations, mantras, and moments of confidence that she has felt in the past. “There was that one time on the West Side Highway when you were killing that run. Call it back. You can feel those true genuine emotions of confidence, pride, and passion,” she says. Entrepreneurs need to develop that same mental toughness. You have to reframe difficult situations and find a way to get your passion back, so think about the times when you felt successful and confident. Create a “mental movie” of those memories to give you strength during challenging times.